Friday, October 21, 2005
It was time. My cat is four years old and had never had a bath. She has a habit of spending six months in a particular spot, only leaving the room to visit the food dish and litterbox. She’s been in the laundry room so long, we mainy forgot abouther. Recently she moved to my daughter’s bed, and the dirt she left was shocking. So I broke down and cleared out the sink. Now she’s in a lot better shape, but I need stitches. Wish I had read the directions first.
Cat Bathing as a Martial Art by Bud Herron
Some people say cats never have to be bathed. They say cats
lick themselves clean. They say cats have a special enzyme of some sort in their saliva that works like new, improved Wisk - dislodging the dirt where it hides and whisking it away.
I've spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind believers, I've been able to discount all the facts to the contrary - the kitty odors that lurk in the corners of the garage and dirt smudges that cling to the throw rug by the fireplace.
The time comes, however, when a man must face reality; when he must look squarely in the face of massive public sentiment to the contrary and announce: "This cat smells like a port-a-potty on a hot day in Juarez."
When that day arrives at your house, as it has in mine, I have some advice you might consider as you place your feline friend under your arm and head for the bathtub:
-- Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower.
(A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred
a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)
-- Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair
of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face mask and a long-sleeve flak jacket.
-- Prepare everything in advance. There is no time to go out for a towel when you have a cat digging a hole in your flak jacket. Draw the water. Make sure the bottle of kitty shampoo is inside the glass enclosure. Make sure the towel can be reached, even if you are lying on your back in the water.
-- Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule. If he does notice your garb, calmly explain that you are taking part in a product-testing experiment for J.C. Penney.)
-- Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.
-- Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more that two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record is - for cats - three latherings, so don't expect too much.)
-- Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared to what you
have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait.
(Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.)
After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter
to just reach down and dry the cat.
In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.
You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But, at least now he smells a lot better.
No wonder people have so much fun torturing cats on the net. You can blast them from a connon with the Kitten Cannon game, or Stack the Cats, or even indulge in Cat Bowling.
You can vote on the cutest littens in Kitten War. You can laugh at the photos of things people pile on their cats at Stuff on My Cat. (Thanks, Bill!) If THAT amuses you, you're gonna love THIS. (Thanks, April!)
You can commiserate with the owners of the bad cats listed on My Cat Hates You. Thanks, Ann!)
Enjoy a video of a kitten pickin on a cat twice his size. The Lap Dance flash animation is a funny story, if a little long. B. Kliban's cats have always amused me. But for the “aww” factor, nothing beats the heartwarming story of Speedy, the disabled kitten.
You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will show you.
You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail! Behold,
I need a new toy.
Tail of black dog keeps good time.
Pounce! good dog! good dog!
The rule for today.
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.
In deep sleep hear sound
Cat vomit hairball somewhere.
Will find in morning.
I leap into the window
I meant to do that
Blur of motion, then-
Silence, me, a paper bag
What is so funny?
The mighty hunter
Returns with gifts of plump birds
Your foot just squashed one.
You're always typing
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.
My small cardboard box
You cannot see me if I
Can just hide my head.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a "term paper"?
Kitty likes plastic
Confuses for litter box
Don't leave tarp around
Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner
Want to trim my claws
Don't even think about it!
My yelps will wake the dead
I want to be close
To you. Can I fit my head
inside your armpit?
Wanna go outside.
Oh, no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!
Oh no! Big One
has been trapped by newspaper.
Cat to the rescue!
Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in the bed, then screams!
My claws aren't that sharp....
Cats meow out of angst
"Thumbs! If only we had thumbs!
We could break so much"
Litter box not there
You must have moved it again
I'll crap in the sink
The Big Ones snore now
Every room is dark and cold
time for "Cup Hockey"
We're almost equals
I purr to show I love you
Want to smell my butt?
Finally, no cat post would be complete without the Viking Kittens. (Thanks, Kate!)
Thought for today: There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.
Search cat kitten humor cat humor